335

Respond politely by asking them what they need from you. Your co-worker likes to begin conversations with small talk, which is a style of communication that some people prefer. They find it necessary or comfortable to engage in warmup dialogue before stating their intent. These preferences are developed over time and are hard to unlearn. So let's assume that ...


319

What's a work-appropriate way to say "Please stop talking and let me work"? Once they state the request, repeat it back to them and then say: Do I understand the requirement/change correctly? If they say yes: You say “Great, now let me get this done for you”, then turn from them and start working. If not continue the dialog with the person making ...


272

I know how you feel; I came from a rural and traditional background as well and went through this several years ago. Here are a few things I wish someone had told me: These women are not dressing this way to distract you on purpose. Women dress the way they do for a variety of reasons, none of which have anything to do with you. You will become ...


208

One of the big problems with "hello"-only messages is the inadvertent delay you get in getting to the point - there's a delay between the response to "hello" and another delay to the follow-up. Worse yet, the recipient of a "hello" will waste some time after sending their response waiting for the follow-up, if it is not ...


152

It's important to remember that other people can't read your mind. It's perfectly fine to have ways you prefer to do things, but you need to let people know what your preferences are before you expect them to respect your preferences. Along these lines, ignoring your coworker's pleasantries in the hope that she'll jump into her question for you isn't going ...


135

Personally, I'd have security escort you right out of the building, and ship your personal items to you, and flag your file with "Do not rehire". You clearly violated policy by attempting to circumvent security. If you cannot come up with some solid and amazingly urgent business reason to circumvent security, violate protocols, and put your company at risk ...


130

An interview is a two way street. They checked you out. You checked them out. It seems their normal day to day operations is doing their jobs in environments full of distractions. I would not want to work there. You probably don't want that either. Good thing you had this interview, so you can put that application away and focus on the other ones. It might ...


129

I've not experienced a problem like this myself, but the fact the asker is trying to stop and finding it difficult does remind me of a surprising but well-established finding in psychology that the harder you try consciously to not to think about something, the more you end up thinking about it and the bigger a deal it becomes. I think this is part of the ...


106

If you're using a chat client that supports message reactions (e.g. Slack), a "thumbs up" or similar reaction to a "Thank you" message might be a solution: you're being polite by acknowledging your colleague's gratitude but in a non-distracting way.


97

This employee is being disruptive to your business and something more formal than a verbal warning is required. He's not only bothering you and other employees during the course of normal business, reducing productivity and effectiveness, but he's disruptive to customer meetings and is straining relationships. The next steps depend on your policy, but his ...


95

Is there a way I can get they to change the ringtone, without escalating too much? You have talked to your coworker and he is disagreeing. You have also established that your other coworkers don't want to get involved. Your next step would be the guys manager. Only you can know if you consider that "escalating too much".


81

Nowhere in my contract OR in the IT and Internet usage policies does it explicitly state not to use proxies or attempt to bypass the restrictions (which is the wording I was used to seeing at college), however it does say that the internet should only be used for business purposes. You're kind of expected to have a certain amount of responsibility in the ...


75

If someone simply saying “Hello!” or “Good morning!” to you in chat is so upsetting, that is a symptom of another problem and it’s not your need to “train” someone to never say “Hello!” or some similar pleasantry. Lots of other answers here, but let me focus on this one thing and expand on an earlier comment I made: “How can I politely inform her that I ...


63

What's a work-appropriate way to say "Please stop talking and let me work"? I'd suggest, don't say that verbally; let your actions speak for you. Question: Do you know why they are being repetitive? Do they feel you did not understand enough? Do they feel you're not paying enough attention? The thing is, you need to make it clear to them that you ...


53

I have been to a lot of job interviews in my life. Sometimes the interviewers said weird things during the interview, and sometimes the interviewers had not read my CV beforehand. However, never was I denied the common courtesy of being interviewed in a quiet room with only me and the interviewers present. To deny you such a thing, I think, is just flat out ...


51

In the companies I work or worked in, the initial "hello" was less of a chit-chat and more of a way to poke someone and check whether they can freely read the IM. The idea being that if someone does not respond to the initial "hello", it means that it may not be the best moment to send them something which they may not want to see displayed (presenting, ...


50

At my place, in the UK, you would be gone. As a senior developer, I would be gone. You could have asked if you can use your own private phone with 3G connection, or whether you can bring your private iPad in, with its own 3G connection, but absolutely no playing around with your company's network. You could have asked IT if they can make it possible to ...


41

That's one typical problem with open office culture. Someone's communication is someone else's distraction. So, let's analyze the situation: Someone requested you to change the level of your voice, and you were actually able to do that. That indicates, you could have started and continued in that tone itself which would not have caused any problems. In ...


41

my now-boss walked me through a completely different part of the office...His primary solution is to assign everyone less work to account for the "distractions". Your boss is a deceitful moron and deserves none of the respect and restraint you have so far shown. I would normally advocate communication and everything suggested by Sourav Ghosh, but in ...


40

Is there any way I can control his behavior or should I resort to official written warning? An official, written warning may be your best bet for controlling his behavior (assuming that aside from this issue he is a good employee worth keeping around). You have already talked with him several times, and each time his control lasted only temporarily. So ...


35

You are getting seriously beat up on this. Yes you intentionally bypassed security but sounds like you just did it to access content that would have been otherwise available to you. It is not a akin to a felony. Apologize, tell them you know it is wrong, and will not do it again. You will get disciplined but may not get fired.


34

Back in the day, I worked in an environment where I managed a lot of people remotely, and had to deal with many of their issues as soon as possible, so couldn't just check messages periodically: they needed to be able to interrupt me. At the same time, I had to program and debug, holding large and complex data structures in my head, only to have them ...


29

Making his phone ring while the boss is nearby is a cute idea, although it may not garner the desired response (ie: changing his ringtone.) His boss may not care enough to say anything, or he might just apologize quietly and not do anything else. It could also backfire on you if your coworker can trace the incoming call back to you, so tread carefully. ...


29

Find a reason to use IM (not related to the volume) to ping each of your colleagues in turn. When you hear the bing, you have your culprit...


28

I work for a small/medium sized company. When we grew from just being one office, where almost everything could be discussed face to face, into a much larger one, with offices in multiple time zones and countries, this issue was brought up. In a company wide event, where everyone was present, we discussed ways of how to improve communications and we agreed ...


27

This is going to be company culture and even team specific. In some of the teams I've worked with, 100% fine, some 100% not. In order to gauge this: Look around at your coworkers desks. Are there toys, gadgets, etc? A senior director who sits near me has a collection of rubber ducks on his desk. It's likely the more stuff like this you see the more likely ...


24

Is it worth begging, fighting, or otherwise making it worth their while to give us better conditions? Or is my only normal choice to just ride it out until the project is done? As a salaried worker for a consulting firm, you need to get used to working in less-than-desirable spaces at client locations. That's the way it goes for short-term consultants. ...


24

Mate, I am going to throw an extra few of my own pennies into this. I have managed IT teams in the tens and had the privilege of hiring literally hundreds of developers. If it was up to me all senior devs would have full access to whatever. Unfortunately sometimes the context is a corporate setting where IT staff is affected by corporate general policy. ...


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